Alcoholic drinks analyst, Spiros Malandrakis, said that the cream-based liqueur category’s global volume compound annual growth rate (CAGR) was essentially flat between 2006 and 2011.
Not even “flavoured launches, Diageo’s almighty marketing machine, the launch of Qream in the US or even its celebrity endorsement by Pharrell Williams failed to turn the dairy tide,” he added.
“Nevertheless, as maturity, stagnation and saturation curdle the category in Western markets, a shift to a yogurt-based offering could allow it to move into yet untapped markets.
Good mixed with rum
After launches in China, Russia, Ireland and Bulgaria, Dutch firm Lucas Bols launched what it claimed was the UK’s first natural yogurt liqueur (pictured) with 15% ABV in mid-May, which it said could either be served alone chilled or used as a cocktail ingredient.
Since the product was yogurt- rather than cream-based, the company claimed it was much lower in fat than cream liqueurs, had no shelf-life problem, and mixed particularly well with rum.
Discussing other May 2012 alcoholic beverage launches, Malandrakis wondered whether the wine industry was “finally waking up and smelling more than just the rosé.”
Accessibility, freshness and casual character the buzzwords at this year’s London International Wine Fair, Malandrakis said, before playfully adding: “Delegates and attendees largely agreed, rallied against the infamous navel gazing haunting the wine trade and gleefully carried on discussing the subtle nuances of soil, terroir and bespoke crystal decanters.”
However, interesting product launches such as lower alcohol offerings and the growing popularity of Moscato wines among younger US drinkers ran counter to an arcane industry, the analyst added.
Moscato gains hip-hop following...
For instance, malt-based alcoholic beverage Moscato Life from Phusion Projects came in Moscato and rosé flavours, Malandrakis said, and had gained a “hip-hop and urban community” reputation.
“Traditionally an after-dinner wine, Moscato has recently taken up residency as a more mainstream drink among the under-40 crowd,” he added.
Costing $6.99 [₤5.66] per 750ml bottle and with an ABV of merely six per cent, the product will then also appear in selected markets across the world,” Malandrakis said.
Other interesting May product launches he noted included spritz cocktails in the US (namely an RTD product ‘iSpritz’ from Riondo USA) and frozen wine cocktails claimed as a world first by Constellation Brands.
Their Arbor Mist range comes in Blackberry Merlot, White Pear Pinot Grigio and Strawberry White Zinfandel flavours. “Costing $1.99 per 300ml pouch, they could prove extremely relevant to the summer festival season as well as the ever-elusive millennial demographic,” Malandrakis said.